more from Terence Horgan

Single Idea 16057

[catalogued under 14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 3. Instrumentalism]

Full Idea

Instrumentalist views typically attribute utility to the given body of discourse, but deny that it expresses genuine truths.

Gist of Idea

Instrumentalism normally says some discourse is useful, but not genuinely true


Terence Horgan (From Supervenience to Superdupervenience [1993], §8)

Book Reference

-: 'Mind' [-], p.27

A Reaction

To me it is obvious to ask why anything could have a high level of utility (especially in accounts of the external physical world) without being true. Falsehoods may sometimes (though I doubt it) be handy in human life, but useful in chemistry…?